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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Explanation of Tivosiation and problems - comments sought

From: Alex Hudson
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Explanation of Tivosiation and problems - comments sought
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 13:21:36 +0000

On Mon, 2006-12-18 at 12:11 +0000, Jason Clifford wrote:
> Indeed. Let's not forget however that this discussion didn't start as a 
> consideration of how to make it easier for those who want to lock out 
> users with encryption but rather how to prevent this abuse (in spirit if 
> not letter) of GPL.

Well, indeed, but my point about the "Tivoisation" (if it was a point;
it was more really an observation) is that is seems only one type of
abuse is being addressed. 

I don't know how many systems are locked down by encryption; I think
it's likely that they're not the majority, though. Manufacturers can and
do lock devices down in a variety of ways, and since the free software
of any particular device is only one component amongst many, I'm sure
there is scope for many new and interesting ways of doing it.

For example, the likes of Tivo are always likely to have some non-free
piece of software which is the most interesting part of their kit: be it
the EPG, or whatever. They're not under any obligation to make that
continue to work if you swap out bits of the underlying OS.

It just smells a bit of an arms race to me; I don't believe there is a
simple copyleft-style solution to this kind of problem, it seems to me
that it's the sort of thing we'll have to live with, one way or another.



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